User Experience - What Does It Really Mean?

Jay Whitelock

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User Experience - What Does It Really Mean?


With an eCommerce want customers to buy. The quickest route to buying, is a well streamlined sales process. A streamlined sales process is complimented with exceptional User Experience.

Imagine a landscape between your customers and your checkout page. If the scene resembles a battlefield rather than an enjoyable walk in the park you have a problem.

User experience is key to a high performance website.

Peter Morville of Symantec Studios tells us, in his UI honeycomb, that content should be…

  • Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need
  • Usable: Site must be easy to use
  • Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
  • Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
  • Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
  • Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them

Testing User Experience.

It would make sense to objectively test user experience on your website. Sometimes, although essential, it can be difficult to take that step back and look at your business processes. Luckily we have found a great usability testing website that shows you exactly how a customer will use your website and what their thought process is throughout.

The website we recommend is:

What is usability testing?

Usability Testing is a technique used to evaluate a product (in this case a website) by testing is on users. Most people who set up a usability test carefully construct a scenario wherein a person performs a list of tasks that someone who is using the website for the first time is likely to perform. Someone else observes and listens to the person who is performing the tasks while taking notes. Watching someone perform common tasks on a website is a great way to test whether the site is usable because you will immediately be able to see whether they are able to perform the tasks and any difficulties they have while doing so.

What are the benefits of user testing?

Quick Wins: you can then action and subsequently enhance the user experience and user task completion rates, in turn increasing site conversions and ultimately your ROI

Understand Drop Off Rates: again for E-commerce sites, a serious issue affecting the majority of sites large and small is poor (or poorer than what can be achieved) conversion rates of customers who have begun a checkout process. User testing this key shopping journey can identify where users experience barriers to progression and any areas of frustration or security concerns.

Identify wastage in advertising spend: Rather than continuing to throw money on Google Adwords marketing and similar, driving more potential new customers to your (untested/poor conversions) website, budget is spent optimising the user experience of the site which will provide much greater increases in return on investment.

Identify key navigational issues: Knowing that users struggle to find a key area/tool within the website can be invaluable, providing the necessary proof that key changes need to be made.

Brings our surprises: Perhaps an area that is considered optimal may in fact have room for improvement

Getting to know your customer: For e-commerce sites, providing there are enough participants, user testing will provide insight into different shopping behaviours (hunters, followers, impulse buyers) which in turn can help a business identify how critical information and calls to actions should be positioned within a page hierarchy as users progress through a shopping journey.

Objective view: Real users provide the insights into what is and isn’t working on your site.

Examples of ecommerce excellence in user experience:

What’s easier to buy from than Amazon? With it’s innovative navigational structure, buying becomes easier than real life shopping.

With it’s slick navigation and easy to use bike filtering system, users get what they want when they want it from Velocipede.

The key to user to work from the user’s point of view, thinking out your website with the user in mind, testing with real users and removing hurdles and blockers will create a great experience for your customers.
We would be delighted to analyze your website for user experience, to have a no obligation chat contact us via our website at, we look forward to hearing from you!

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